How building a business is like baking a cake

Do you like baking?

It can be quite rewarding to bake, and with some practice and skill the output will be a great cake.

In many ways, building a business is like baking a cake.


You need certain ingredients, and certain ways of doing things for the result to be optimal.

Even so, no matter how motivated you are, the first few cakes will most likely not win a baking contest – especially if you skip the recipe.

Throwing all the ingredients together in a big pile, and expecting it to be delicious is unrealistic at best. Or just plain stupid.

For the result to be a nice cake, you need four things.


The recipe

Firstly you need a plan – a blueprint – a recipe.

You need to know what ingredients to use, what to do with them, when to use them, and in general what to do.


Imagine being asked to bake a special cake for your next family get together – a cake you have absolutely no clue how is made. With no recipe to help you the result would most likely be quite different than what’s expected.

You need the recipe to know where to go and how to get there.



Next step is thorough preparation.

Before starting on your cake, you would want to consult the recipe. See where you want to end up and if you have all the ingredients needed to take you there.

Nothing is more irritating than getting half way through the baking process, up to your elbows in dough, only to realize you lack some central ingredient.

By properly preparing, you’ll be ready to take on most everything.



Once you know what to do, and you have everything needed to do it, you need to actually do it.

There’s manual labour involved in baking a cake, there’s no way of getting around that. You need to mix the ingredients together, perhaps in a special order. You need to arrange the dough in some way or another, and you may want to decorate it.

All of it requires work. But it pays off.



No cake is done the very moment you have mixed the ingredients together. It requires time to be properly prepared.

Whether it needs to be baked in the oven, frozen in the freezer or whatever else, time is required, especially so for cakes made with leaven, which needs to rise – and the longer the time spent, the better the taste in most cases.

In any case patience is required from the baker.


Bonus: Practice

Practice makes perfect.

The more time you put into learning to bake, and the more times you do it, the better you will be. You will find that the process is faster, you might figure out new recipes as you learn what flavours complement each other, and the end product gets better as your skill increases.

Now to the big question:


What in the world does cake baking have to do with building a business?


And everything.

To bake a cake you need a recipe, ingredients, work and time.

To build a business you need a business plan, resources, work and time.

Proper preparation will greatly increase your chance for success, as will elaborating a business plan. Compare it to throwing whatever you find in the kitchen together versus following a proven recipe. You might be lucky with the result, but the odds are that the cake made from the recipe will turn out a lot better.

There’s hard work involved in starting a business, there’s no escaping that, but as with a cake, the more you practice, the more work you put in, the better the result will be. As long as you follow the blueprint and work towards your goals.

No successful business is made over night. It takes time and patience. But you already knew that.

So go out there and start building your business (or bake a cake). You can do it!

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